Commercial efficiency
4 min reading

Sales: Do you make any of these 4 classic mistakes?

Cyprien Borios
Published on
I do all 4 of them myself

There is a gulf between the deals that go into the pipe, and the ones that come out signed.

We are talking about 95% wastage on average, which is about 1 deal / 20 that goes to the end.

Some of them are not successful because of small mistakes:

  • Getting the wrong address when you have a client appointment ...
  • Calling your client at midnight thinking you're calling your best friend...
  • Sending the wrong contract - and his prospect realises he could have negotiated better!

Well, it can happen to anyone. Building a deal is a long and fragile process, and you have to stay focused the whole time.

These little mistakes are usually not that big of a deal.

But there are 4 more common ones that really sabotage your efforts, and those of the BDR upstream!

Here are the 4 most common mistakes made by salespeople

Mistake 1: Not realising that you are talking to a champion.

The champion is the person who works at your customer's site, and who is convinced by your solution. Although they are not decision-makers, they will push your product internally, even in your absence.

In other words: Don't underestimate anyone!

Be careful how you talk to the champion: he can help you, as well as shoot you in the back. If you offend him, he can silently tear you down and ruin all your efforts. Play it smart:

❌ "I'd like to meet a decision maker.Could you give me your boss's number?"
✅ "Who else do you think we need to bring into the loop so we can move forward?"

What to do when our interlocutor wants to centrally manage the exchanges?

This is often the case with large accounts (over 1,000 people). The bigger the account, the more decisions will be taken through a political prism.

Your interlocutor wants to make a good impression?

He is bored in his job and takes appointments to keep himself busy?

It does not matter. All that matters is that sooner or later you will have to meet a decision maker. For this, I advise you to :

  • Make it clear as we go along that we will need other resources: HR, technical service, legal, etc. If we want it to work, we have to involve everyone.
  • If they won't let go: discreetly bypass them by turning directly to another decision-maker, or at least another interlocutor. The famous "by-pass".

Only as a last resort should you bypass (i.e., go directly to the next level without the consent of the person you are talking to). But when you have to, you have to.

💎 Solution:

  • Be respectful to everyone. Treat everyone you meet as if they were the boss of the company.
  • As a last resort, bypass the caller who is blocking you without getting caught.

Mistake 2: Forgetting to integrate one of the 3 pillars of the sales cycle.

Closing a deal is like making a stool stand upright, it needs at least 3 legs to be stable:

  • Your champion - who prescribes your solution, who has a direct influence on the decision-maker.
  • The decision-maker - who decides to take your solution.
  • The signatory - who signs the contract. He has the keys to the cash register.

Make sure that everyone is on board with the story: this is an essential step!

Tip => To bring the signatory into the loop, for example, contact him briefly after a good demo to make sure he is well informed about the progress of the deal:

"I have just finished the demonstration of our tool with your team [x], everyone enjoyed it. I will keep you posted on future progress."

Finally, for the closing, don't hesitate to gather as many people as possible around the table to clear up any last objections. If everyone is together, you won't have to play messenger between departments to tie up loose ends.

💎 Solution:

  • Map the account well. Identify the roles of each person.
  • Include each stakeholder earlier in the discussion.
  • Gather them all together at the time of signing.

Mistake 3: Letting your prospect drive the exchange.

If you believe in your solution, you must be the driving force behind its implementation with your prospect. From A to Z. Take the lead!

If you let your prospect lead you, you're screwed. Especially when the ball is in the prospect's hands and he has to "validate things internally". In this case, answer:

✅ "Okay, I'm sending you an invitation to review this next week. Is there anything I can provide to help you?"

Especially since, as a salesperson, it is often difficult to position yourself as an equal with your interlocutor. This is especially true when you are dealing with people in high ranks. They may have more clout than you, but not in your field.

Your expertise is not only in the field (as your contact person often is), but also in the implementation of your solution in a company, following a deal, coordinating all the stakeholders.

What you are selling is change in your prospect.

Now you have something to teach him.

So it's up to you to guide him. Usually, the more salespeople can position themselves as experts in their field, the easier they sell. Work on the posture problem.

💎 Solution: Know your market inside out, and show it by giving your prospect free information. But also demonstrate that you are the right person to take charge of the change you are looking for.

Mistake 4: Arguing too much, or worse: Monopolising the floor!

Classic, but it's a mistake I still see all too often, throughout the sales cycle and even more so at the closing stage. The whole deal is done, and when the closing time comes, they think they have to go over all the benefits of their solution one last time.

No need for all that! Be confident.

Remember that the more you argue, the more you appear to need to argue. When you are sure of your solution, it is useless. Too much arguing makes you lose credibility.

💎 Solution: Say as little as possible. Just enough, and listen more.


As my friend John Powell said:

"The only real mistake is the one you don't learn from. Once is a mistake. Twice is a bad habit."

We all make mistakes, the important thing is not to repeat them. When a salesperson performs less well than others, it is up to the manager to identify the mistakes and the areas for improvement to pull their junior upwards.

And if you don't know how to do it, we have designed a tool especially for that ;) I let you learn more here;)


Table of contents
Discover and try out Modjo now!
Discover Modjo
Discover Modjo

Discover and try out Modjo now!

Book a demo
Book a demo